Thursday, August 29, 2013
Pastor Matt’s Thoughts for August
Dead Men Wanted
Crucifixion back in Jesus’ day was the equivalent of being sentenced to a gallows, electric chair or the firing squad, only more painful and longer lasting. What they all have as a final result is death. The cross brought a finality to all mans life. He was dead to the world; to his family and friends, to his pride and ambitions; dead to any future plans. Yes the cross ended everything in man’s life.
Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me.” Paul went on to say, “I am crucified to the world and the world is crucified to me.”
Jesus challenged every one of His followers to take up their cross and follow Him. Let’s face it, self hates to die and lose its preeminence. We do all we can to make ourselves look good, smell good and feel good. We love it when others pamper us, coddle us and fuss over us.
We live in a selfish world where the only concern is, “What’s in it for me?” If you trace the source of self to its beginning, you will find it started with Lucifer and his plan to take God’s place with his own.
Paul described many of today’s churches when he warned Timothy that in the last days, men would be lovers of money, lovers of pleasure, lovers of self more than lovers of God (I Timothy 3:1-5).
Obviously, self is the root problem here just as in the world.
Self is so powerful that the only way to successfully deal with it is through the cross. Only when self is dethroned can God take His rightful place as Lord and Master of a persons life. God has made it perfectly clear that those who follow Him would have to follow Him to the cross.
What we need as believers, and what we believe as a Church are not those who champion self, but living for Christ. We need believers and churches who have learned the secret of dying to self. We need believers dead to themselves and alive in Christ!